Common Reading Program


Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

2019 Common Reading Announced

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah is NC State’s 2019 Common Reading Program selection.

Copies of Born a Crime, chosen by the students, faculty and staff on the Common Reading Selection Committee, will be distributed to all first-year students during New Student Orientation prior to the fall semester. Themes from Born a Crime will also be the focus of New Student Convocation on Monday, August 19, 2019, to be held at Reynolds Coliseum to welcome the Class of 2023.

Through Born a Crime, Trevor Noah confronts the social construction of race, the systems created to perpetuate ideologies, and their implications for individuals and communities. Noah’s collective memories illuminate his attempts to navigate the multiple worlds he inhabits. From changing family dynamics and figuring out the future to his witticisms about dating, Noah explains how our lived experiences inform our identities, ethics, and values, while allowing space for continued exploration of them within changing environments.

Dr. Eileen Taylor, Chair of the 2019 Common Reading Selection Committee, noted that “First-year students can surely relate to the challenges Noah faced as a teenager, in particular, dating, living with a stepparent, wanting money of one’s own, and figuring out what comes after high school. These aspects create a foundation for exploring ethics and values. The committee noted that there are multiple opportunities with this book for interdisciplinary engagement, as it addresses government policy, ethics, business, growth management, language, faith, race, learning, and personal reflection.”

The Common Reading Engagement Committee invites members of the NC State community and beyond to become engaged with the book by:

  • Incorporating the text into fall and spring semester courses (Click here to request a review copy of the text
  • Submitting ideas for active engagement opportunities via the Common Reading email at; and
  • Joining in the conversation via social media using the hashtag #onepackonebook.

Click here to read the full announcement